Wednesday, 28 November 2018

How Do I Pick A Model?

With so many beautiful model horses in the world how do you pick your next one? Everyone has their own system when it comes to picking their next model horse, so I thought I would give you the lowdown on how I choose mine.

The "Ooo That's Pretty" Approach

OK so let's be realistic about this. I'm going to talk about lists and savings and grails and all kinds of useful systematic approaches below but 90% of my models were purchased as impulse buys because I liked them.

This is particularly true of things like resins, chinas, RubberNedz and customs. I rarely save up and say "I'm going to get an AA Mule" for example, in fact I've never done that, yet I still seem to have about 10 of them...

This usually happens at live shows as well, I've sold a few things, there's money in my pocket, Donna gets out some pretty horses to get the picture! Deb Brown listings on eBay are also really bad when it comes to this.

Veronica is an example of an impulse purchase. I literally just bought her because she was called Veronica's Vodka!


If it's cheap or reduced I want it. Doesn't matter what it is. The moment TK Maxx gets Breyers in I'm buying them. All of them. I don't care what they are they are cheap and I want them. Retailer running a sale? Having that. Someone selling something off cheap at a live show? I'm having that. Noticed bargain listing on Facebook? I'm having that.

I would say this probably equates to around another 8% of my collection, especially if you include stuff that I've won in competitions, raffles or been given as gifts!

Katya is an example of a bargain purchase. I got her a couple of years ago from TK Maxx when they were selling Breyers.

The Planned Approach

So when I first started collecting model horses I had a notepad in which I planned all my future purchases. I saved up my pocket money each month and when I had enough I sent off an order form and cheque to Julip and got my new pony, accessory or companion back.

Nowadays I still try and stick to this, I still have a savings chart in my journal but as with many things in life my savings often get spent on more important things, like food, or vet bills. At the moment I'm trying to save for Sonorah who I need for my Bobby Jo conga, but that is going to take a very long time!

I do also still have a list of horses I want to buy, although it is generally a bit more general than it used to be. Now it says things like "Bay FCM ISH" or "Custom Salinero" they are more general statements that may eventually be achieved although it is unlikely I ever will (VET BILLS).

So how do you decide which model to buy next? Are you a bit of an impulse buyer like me? Or are you a bargain hunter? Or do you strategically plan and save up your money? I'd love to know! You could even write a guest Blog post on this topic for me and I'll add it to the Blog :D

Minstrel is one of my earliest Julips, I saved up for 16 weeks in order to buy her.

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Having a Go At Making Show Ribbons

So whilst on my tours of the internet I came across this Blog post by Braymere Custom Saddlery:

And I though "I could do that"

So of course I decided to attempt it, I mean how hard could it be?

OK so first step...ribbon. I can do that! I chose green, gold and red, mainly because those were the first three colours I took out of the pot!

So for the next step I need to cut a circle out of card, they used a pen top, but I have these handy stencils! I didn't have any white card so yellow it is...

Right time to cut cut cut! The next step was to cut 8 small pieces of ribbon and then three longer bits. So far so good!

Now it was time to stick. Now we have a bit of a problem. When all my stuff was stored over the summer all my glue basically dried up, so it is a complete nightmare to work with! It's all horrible and messy and stringy. I really need to get some more.

But we got there, here are eight stunning glued pieces.

I probably made them a bit too large, so mine won't look as tight and neat. But o well, worse things happen at sea.

Time to stick the first four down, look at my pretty flower thing!

Now for the other four, as you can see I couldn't just be simple and use the same colour so I used gold and red instead. It isn't as circular as it should be. But it doesn't look awful from the front!

Now to stick the three longer pieces on. I put the green in the middle and then the red and gold either side. Look how messy my glue is!

Finally it was onto the centre piece. The Blog post recommended decapitating horse sprinkles, I do not have horse sprinkles. So I raided my stickers draw and found these clear gems that were the perfect size. So I peeled one off and stuck it in the middle!

Finally I added the little paper hook and voila! We have a little rosette. I don't think it looks too awful for a first attempt. Tack making horse seems to like it anyway.

With the flash, urgh look at that glue! OK I'm going to go and order some glue now...

If you had a go at this tutorial let me know and share your attempts! I'm sure they are a lot better than mine! Although I'm already thinking about making thousands to give out as awards at my next live show...someone should probably stop me from doing that...

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.

Monday, 26 November 2018

How Do The Breyer Clubs Work?

This question pops up a lot this time of year, usually from people in the UK wanting to know exactly how much they cost and how they actually work.

So here is my beginners guide on the Breyer clubs, how much they cost, what you get and how they work!

You can sign up for all these clubs before the end of December at

Collector's Club

Cost Per Year: $35.00
Sign Up Deadline: None

The Collector's Club is the basic Breyer club. It is open to everyone and it is open all year round.

Important note - in order to join all the below clubs you need to be a Collector's Club member!

What do you get?

For your $35.00 a year membership you get:

JAH Magazine
10% Off Regular Run Models at
Access to Special Run Models
Access to Collector's Event

There is no mandatory purchase model with this club, $35.00 is the most you have to spend in the year.

What Models?

You don't have to buy any of the Collector's Club models they are completely optional but you have the choice to buy the following (this does vary from year to year):

2x Collector's Club Traditional Special Runs priced at $65.00 - $75.00 each.
1x Gambler's Choice Classic Model priced at $35.00 each
1x Christmas Gamblers Choice priced at $95.00 each (with free shipping)!

Starlet is a Collector's Club special run, she is priced at $75.00

As well as this you also have the chance to 'win' the opportunity to buy rarer models. You have to enter for these and only those who are drawn get the chance to purchase them.

These models are usually priced between $135.00 - $185.00 each (limited to 300 pieces)
Test Run models usually priced around $800.00 each (limited to 1 piece)

Banesque is one of the more recent Collector's Club Special Runs. Were you lucky enough to be picked for him?

On top of this there are also chances to get various other Collectors special items or days.

Collector's Club Grab Bags - Usually $150.00 each and containing a BreyerFest model or other special run
Collector's Day - This happens in December, you spend over $150.00 and get a free glossed model
Black Friday Deals - Access to Special Runs (such as BreyerFest, Premier or Vintage models) on Black Friday

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs on all these items are usually around $60.00. The only exception is the Christmas Day special run which comes with free international shipping making it a great purchase for club members. I highly recommend buying this one, it's worth it!

Stablemate Club

Deposit: $30.00
Each Model Cost: $20.00
Total Models: 6
Sign Up Deadline: December 31st

In order to join the Stablemate Collector's Club you need to first join the Collector's Club (above).

The Stablemate Club gives you access to six new models each year. This is a buy in scheme, you must buy all the models. Failure to purchase a model will result in you being unable to purchase future models.

As a model becomes available you will need to purchase it within a certain time frame (usually a couple of weeks).

International Membership

International membership works slightly differently to the US based membership. Here you buy the models in two instalments of three coming to $60.00 per purchase. There is also reduced shipping if you only order the models. This is designed to save you shipping costs but does mean you have to wait to receive your models each year.

Shipping Dates

USA: February, April, June, August, October & December
International: June & December

The Models

There are six models each year. These always include:

At least one new mould (there are two for 2019)
Gamblers Choice model (usually four different colourways)
Vintage mould (there is usually a G1 mould)

Shown above are the six different moulds for 2019

Shipping Costs

International shipping usually comes to between $30-40 but if you purchase any other items with your Stablemate club models you will see your shipping costs jump to $50-60.

Vintage Club

Deposit: $100.00
Each Model Cost: $115.00
Total Models: 4*
Sign Up Deadline: December 31st

*excludes free Stablemate and extra purchase models

In order to join the Vintage Club you need to first join the Collector's Club (above).

The Vintage Club gives you the chance to purchase four new 'vintage' models each year. These could be either vintage moulds in new or vintage colourways or modern moulds in vintage colourways.

This is a buy in scheme which means you need to purchase all four models. Failure to buy one of the core four models will mean you forfeit your membership.

Shipping Dates

The models ship every 3 months in: January, April, July & October

The Models

There are four core models for the club. This will usually include a Gambler's Choice model.

As well as this you also have the chance to purchase one extra model (this is usually a modern mould in a vintage colourway but this year it wasn't)! You do not have to buy this model as part of your membership, it is entirely optional.

If you complete all four core purchases you will receive a free Stablemate around December time. This will be sent to you free of charge with no shipping cost.

Rockford is one of the 2019 Vintage Club releases

Shipping Costs

International shipping costs for the individual models are around $60.00 each. There is no shipping charge on the free Stablemate.

Premier Club

Deposit: $100.00
Each Model Cost: $141.66
Total Models: 3*
Sign Up Deadline: December 31st

*excluding free Stablemate

In order to join the Vintage Club you need to first join the Collector's Club (above).

The Premier Club gives you the opportunity to purchase three brand new sculptures each year. Like the Vintage and Stablemate club this is a buy in scheme which means you need to purchase all the models, if you fail to make a purchase you will forfeit your club membership.

Shipping Dates

The models ship in: May, August & November

The Models

There are three new sculptures each year. These will vary from year to year and may include a mare and foal set (such as in 2019).

As long as you purchase all three models you will also receive a free Stablemate on a new mould. This will be painted to look like a mini version of one of the larger Premier Models from that year.

One of the 2019 Premier Club releases, a Welsh mare and foal.

Shipping Costs

International shipping costs are around $60-70 per model.

Can I Combine Shipping?

One of the questions that is often asked is how easy it is to combine shipping. You are usually given a couple of weeks to purchase models from the Stablemate, Vintage and Premier clubs and Collector's Club models will remain available until they sell out. For the entry based Collector's Club models you will only have a few days to make your purchase if you are drawn.

Take a look at the month list below to see what you could combine:

January: Vintage Club
February: Stablemate Club (USA)
April: Stablemate Club (USA); Vintage Club
May: Premier Club
June: Stablemate Club (USA); Stablemate Club (International)
July: Vintage Club
August: Stablemate Club (USA); Premier Club
October: Stablemate Club (USA); Vintage Club
November: Premier Club
December: Stablemate Club (USA); Stablemate Club (International)

So in 2017 I was a member of all three clubs. So what did I manage to combine?

Well in June I combined my Premier and Stablemate Club models.

In September I combined my Premier and Vintage club models.

The year prior to that I managed to combine my Stablemate Club & Vintage Club models in June. Because you have a couple of weeks to purchase it is worth holding out to see what you can combine it with.

I hope that helps! All the memberships I've spoken about above are available to order from until December 31st.

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Model Horse Collection Tour 22/11/2018

For the first time in years I've got my entire model horse collection together so of course we had to do a collection tour!

Apologies for the lighting, I have the windows blocked in the pony room. Windows take up valuable pony shelf space! Also the lights in this house are pretty awful. I think we need a new light fitting for this room at some point so I can actually see what I'm doing!

Anyway I hope you enjoy it :D See if you can spot any of your favourites or maybe some models you painted or sold to me, who knows what I have in the depths of my collection (honestly half the time even I don't know)!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Black Friday Boxes are Now Available

This year we are not running our usual black friday sale. Instead we are offering ten specially created Black Friday boxes.

Each box contains a Breyer Traditional, one custom and at least three other items.

The cost of each box is £50.00 and you will receive at least £75.00 worth of products.

There are only ten boxes available so you will have to be quick! To order please visit:

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018


I can't believe I forgot to share this guy with you!

Rockford is the first release in the Breyer 2019 Vintage Club (which is now open for new memberships if you want to sign up). To sign up visit Breyer's website here.

I really like this guy! But sadly don't have enough to sign up this year. I may look for him on the second hand market though.

Wish and Wonder

I'm really hoping that Breyer do the collector day thing in December when you need to spend over $150 and get a special horse again.


Because I need an excuse to get this amazing pair! Introducing the Breyer 2018 Christmas Web Special mare and foal set:

They are priced at $49.95 and can be purchased from Breyer's website here.

And not only do you get a stunning Misty and Stormy set in two beautiful colours you also get this really beautiful bag to keep them in!

Am I in love? Yes. Yes I am!

Pre-Show Routine

As the nights draw in and we all settle down for the winter break I thought I would share with you my pre-live show routine. I mean because you should totally be prepping for the 2019 show season already shouldn't you?

Two Weeks Prior

Most show holders will ask for a judging list at least a week beforehand. As a general rule I get mine sent in after the previous show or a few weeks before.

So the first task is to write my list. I have my own little system for doing this, starting with all new models, then my show string and then 10 random horses for each section (5 for smaller sections such as performance or workmanship).

If there are sections for customs and resins I usually also choose 10 random classes to enter and then paint models to fit those classes.

Once my list is done I send in a list of classes I can judge to the show host. My new life resolution is to make sure I actually do this in reasonable time before each show! I know I always moan at people or not doing this and I am totally guilty of it.

Over the remaining weeks before the show I'll work on those customs I mentioned, its rare I get all of them finished (especially during the show season where I have shows every weekend) but I usually manage to get at least one done.

Minotaur is an example of a pre-show painted model. He was painted to take to Dartmoor Live 2018.

The Week Before

The week before the show I have a really long list of things to do! But first of is the most important thing to do is of course to PACK!

I will usually pack a couple of days prior but it depends on my own schedule and things I have to do. Doing it a couple of days before gives me to time to deal with any last minute emergencies such as broken bridles or rubs that need fixing up. Sometimes I don't have any choice but to pack the day before but I try not to!

Once I've packed I also finish off my list with all the information needed, such as show names and a brief description of each horse so I know who is who!

I then also pack up all the extras I need, these usually live in my live show kit but I do like to check I have everything before each show and usually tidy up a bit as I tend to just shove everything back into the case on show days!

Finally I usually do an advert a few days before announcing any show special offers and also asking anyone if they want me to bring any specific with me for sale.

This is a snippet of a show list from Dartmoor Live 2018 showing the different columns and information I include. You can download a template of this for free here.

The Day Before

The day before is final prep time! There is usually a fair amount of stuff left to do (it's amazing how much needs to be done for a show).

So firstly I pack up any horses that I painted especially for the show (usually I will have left a few to the last minute)! Many of them have gloss drying up until the evening before a show!

I also need to make sure my camera is ready, so I clean the memory card of all the pictures that are currently on it (otherwise I end up with about 4 shows worth of pictures and can't remember which ones are from which show). I then also put it on charge and put the memory card in. One thing I always do is leave the battery compartment open and my camera on top of my boxes, that reminds me to grab the battery on the morning of the show! I also put my card reader on charge for a bit so that we accept card payments on the day of the show.

Now of course there is one important thing that needs doing the day before the show and that is baking! I try to bake something different for each show and if possible theme it for the particular show. Sometimes it is just really simple cupcakes but occasionally I create something far more creative (and usually a lot less successful).

The day before I also pack my show sales, this is usually two boxes of CollectA and Schleich plus a few boxed Breyers and hobby supplies. I make sure to pack anything that people have specifically requested. I also make a little sign advertising any show special offers.

I then make sure I've packed all the extra things I need such as my camera, card reader and cash box! I also make sure my list is printed and with the rest of my stuff. O and I've got the baking as well of course!

Finally the last thing to pack is a raffle prize. When I have time I create something specific for the show that is themed. But quite often I just have to grab something random as I've run out of time.

The final task is to plan my journey. So I find the location, see how long is it going to take and set my alarm for the morning.

And that's it! I'm all done and ready for the show. I normally panic, double check the date and time at like 10pm the night before, because obviously I will have got the wrong date.

Baking the day before is obviously really important!

Show Morning

On show morning it should be a case of simply packing the car. Sometimes I'll have left things to charge over night so need to make sure these are packed.

We usually get up an hour before we need to leave. That gives us time to let the dog out for a bit and pack up the car (which takes a surprisingly long time)!

Once everything is packed (and I'm sure I have my camera) we set the sat nav and head off, via Starbucks of course, because I cannot show until I've had my coffee and bacon roll!

If you want to download your own pre-show checklist I've created one here, feel free to download, print off or copy it into any other checklist program:

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Current For Sale Customs

Honestly you can't go wrong with a custom as a Christmas gift! Guaranteed not to already have the model, it's cute and adorable, it makes it look like you listen...

Anyway here are the custom model horses that are currently for sale at Chestnut Ridge. All of these were painted by me within the last four months.

Please check the images carefully for scale and condition. 

If you have any questions just drop me a message :) Hopefully I should be back painting soon and will have more listed promptly (I did have one that was nearly finished but someone let the cat in the painting room....).


Price: £25.00

Causation is a lovely custom G4 Mustang to a light black. He has lots of depth of colour with subtle shading throughout.


Price: £25.00

Cavatina is a light bay G3 Tennessee Walking Horse. As well as a lovely coat colour she also has a beautiful green and dark green ribbon.


Price: £16.00

Chali is so tiny and so adorable! She is a custom mini whinnie foal and has been painted to chestnut with white socks. This little girl is smaller than a 2p coin.

Change The World

Price: £25.00

I do love a good liver chestnut! This is a lovely G2 Arabian in a dark liver chestnut with heavy white markings.


Price: £25.00

Certainty is one of two bay reiners we have for sale. Am I certain? I can definitely say that with Certainty. Well unless one of them has sold of course...


Price: £25.00

Chances is the second of the bay G4 Reiners we have for sale. Will you take a chance on him?

Centralised Enforcement

Price: £25.00

Centralised Enforcement is another custom G4 Mustang. This one is a lovely rich dark bay with a white star on his head.


Price: £25.00

Changes is another liver chestnut that I just adore. This one is on the G3 Peruvian Paso mould and has a white sock and white stripe. He even has some subtle dappling if you look closely.


Price: £25.00

I am honestly surprised this beautiful girl hasn't been snapped up yet! Centerfold is a lovely rich chestnut pinto on the G3 Warmblood mould.

Celestial Deconstruction

Price: £25.00

This is one of those models that I would buy just for the name alone. But he will also make a lovely show piece. A solid black on the popular G4 Chrome (Andalusian) mould.

Chasing Cars

Price: £24.00

Look its something that isn't a Stablemate! Normally the Schleich and CollectA customs get snapped up within minutes so I'm surprise this guy is still here. Maybe it's because I like him? My tastes never seem to be the same as others!

Chain Reaction

Price: £25.00

Chain Reaction is a lovely light grey G3 Arabian stallion. He has a little bit of pink on his nose and subtle shading.

Celebration Day

Price: £25.00

Last but by no means least is this lovely bright chestnut G3 Tennessee Walking Horse. This model has gorgeous shading and a really pretty light and dark purple ribbon which contrasts beautifully with his chestnut coat.

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.

Unboxing the Oldies

So on Friday I moved back home and with me came several boxes of model horses that have been living at my parents house for quite some time. These guys haven't really been anywhere but on a shelf for over 4 years! So I apologise if they appear dusty :p They will get a proper dust at some point I promise!

Anyway I thought I would introduce you to some of my favourites from the ones I've already unboxed. I've got about four boxes left so we are getting there slowly! Once they are all unboxed I will do a collection tour video as I haven't done one of those in ages (and its the first time the whole collection will be together in over 4 years) :D

P.S. I'm running really low on shelf space. Someone nag my husband to put up more shelves for me please :p

First up we have Apollo one of the Treasure Hunt Silvers. One thing I am really looking forward to is having all the Silvers together again! I need to get back into working on my conga (once I've got hold of a Sonorah for my Bobby Jo conga of course).

Secondly we have another silver, this time Matrix. I always liked this model despite the fact he's quite simple looking.

As well as lots of Breyers there were also several of my childhood horses. Including this grey four horse gift set. Unfortunately, the plastic on three of them had snapped :( Frost survived though!

This guy was my first ever Breyer Traditional. It's Hidalgo on the Silver mould. Yep, the Silevr addiction started early!

Speaking of addictions...this is Jameson, one of my many many many Equorum Shetland Foals. This is one of my "picked up for a few pounds on eBay" foals. I have waaaay too many black ones...

Now two more adorable cuties. I mean how could you not love these little baby My Little Ponies? They are just the cutest things!

I've also brought over my Ethereal Collection. So far I've unboxed Water and Wind. Water is by far my favourite of the two so he is the one I've chosen to share. He's a dapply one!

Pine is one of my vintage woodgrains. I got this little guy in a selection of vintage models I bought from the USA in 2014 just before we moved into our old house. He would have been one of the last to be unboxed and shelved at my parents.

Little Bub is a Sherman Morgan, he looks quite ugly on the shelf but his show name is Hidden Beauty because when photographed there is just something rather stunning about him. I don't feel that way about any of my other Sherman Morgans but this guy, this guy is stunning.

I honestly don't think a collection is complete without Cupid and Arrow. The sad part is that Arrow has been living with the main collection. I would say they are reunited but they are on different shelves. They can look at each other at least.

Craig is one of my glossy Treasure Hunt Wintersongs. I still don't have the full set...I'm still missing that glossy chestnut!

Finally Diamond. I nagged Brendon to get me this one for years and he never did. Eventually I just bought myself one on eBay. He really doesn't take hints. You know this model has real diamond dust in its finish? Pretty cool!

I hope you enjoyed that :D I'll get some more pics up over the next few days and hopefully by the weekend I'll have everyone unboxed and I can do a full collection tour! Watch out now I've found my GoPro you're going to be harassed with videos :p

This blog post was written by Catriona Harris, owner of Chestnut Ridge and model horse fanatic.